Mrs. Levie brought this book to read while she is here to visit... so I stole it from her. Hehe. I wanted to read it again before I saw the movie. I remember reading it in the fifth grade, but I couldn't remember what it was about. I just remember a guy named Kyle Riley having to read it out loud and mispronouncing U-Haul. He said "A-hoo-la". We all laughed, but I was glad that I wasn't reading because I didn't know how to pronounce it either. Anyways, I'm reading it now and it is way better than I remember it. Back then my reading comprehension was terrible so I really didn't know what was going on. It's a really great book and I recommend it to anyone who gets bored at work or has some free time. It's a quick read since it's at a low reading level. Here is a little section that I thought was a good clip to show. Paterson's writing is amazing. The family is so dynamic that anyone could relate to it. It's an honest description of a tightly knit family unit. They have their differences, but they are family all the same.
Bridge to Terabithia
By: -Katherin Paterson
Chapter: The Coming of Prince Terrien
"That night the glow of the afternoon stayed with him. Even his sisters' squabbling about when presents were to be opened did not touch him. He helped May Belle wrap her wretched little gifts and even sang "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with her and Joyce Ann. Then Joyce Ann cried because they had no fireplace and Santa wouldn't be able to find the way, and suddenly he felt sorry for her going to Millsburg Plaza and seeing all those things and hoping that some guy in a red suit would give her all her dreams. May Belle at six was already too wise. She was just hoping for that stupid Barbie. He was glad he'd splurged on it. Joyce Ann wouldn't care that he only had a hair clip for her. She would blame Santa, not him, for being cheap.
He put his arm awkwardly around Joyce Ann.
"C'mon Joyce Ann. Don't cry. Old Santa knows the way. He don't need a chimney, does he May Belle?" May Belle was watching him with her big solemn eyes. Jess gave her a knowing wink over Joyce Ann's head. It melted her.
"Naw, Joyce Ann. He knows the way. He knows everything." She squenched up her right cheek in a vain effort to return his wink. She was a good kid. He really liked old May Belle.
Isn't this just an awesome scene? Paterson paints a vivid image of this ten-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister telling their even younger sister that Santa can find her. It's amazing how she describes May Belle. You can just picture her right cheek scrunching up to try to wink like her big brother. The family structure in this book is so real I can't get over it. Her little scrunched face is just brilliant. God, look at the language in that first paragraph. You really believe that this little boy feels sorry that his sister went shopping and thought that Santa would cure all their money problems and fantastical dreams. Paterson just does such a great job of shaping Jesse into a 3D character. He isn't just some flat kid who only cares about his made up world. He cares about reality too. There are so many different sides to him. He's a very round character so-to-speak. He's very human.
May Belle's little gifts were great too. The language in this sentence is so revealing and accurate. Everyone goes through this I think. I remember wrapping little bookmarks and ugly mugs for my parents and thought that they were the best things in the world. "...her wretched little gifts..." This is so incredible. Wretched is one of the best words that could have been used for a child's gift for her parents. Her pride in these gifts is what gives the word such flare; they're horrible but she believes in them. Geez, I am absolutely in awe of this segment.